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Author Topic: would like to want to vote
Aditu
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Icon 1 posted May 11, 2011 08:56      Profile for Aditu     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I did early voting at lunch, but I would like to want to vote. Most elections recently have been, who would be worse that that guy/gal. sigh
Posts: 1355 | From: Osten Ard | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted May 11, 2011 11:00      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
and I would like to live in fairyland too! Just take a quick look at the kind of people who actively support any party, and vote for a candidate, as opposed to against the one they fear the most, and then be thankful you are not one of them.

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"Knowledge is Power. France is Bacon" - Milton

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted May 11, 2011 16:39      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ugh...local elections. Pretty much I turn out to vote down the school budget whenever it comes up (seriously, the last time they wanted a ~$32M increase, which when that failed, went back up for vote as a ~$31M increase [and this is a district that isn't exactly failing to meet educational needs]), but I have to 'hold my nose and vote' for some races, as it's damned near impossible to know much about the candidates.

I would love to see Sandra Day O'Connor's push to end judicial elections succeed, as this is just about as daft as voting for sheriffs, except far riskier.

Also, I suspect it must be common elsewhere, but it annoys the heck out of me when some of the votes are 'vote for 4 $FOO legislators' and there are 5 candidates. I abstain from such voting, and pretty much anything where I can't make a remotely informed decision.

Ergo, I definitely get the 'like to want to vote' feeling. I certainly /wanted/ to vote in '06, '08, dreaded '04 and '10, and am already getting weary of the run up to '12. (Of course, I voted in all the aforementioned _past_ elections [the TARDIS needs chicken soup].) I do take some consolation in feeling that few will take Newt Gingrich seriously, so I think the elephant is going to be having a circus act going full tilt for awhile. Let 'em knock themselves out. [Smile]

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted May 11, 2011 16:54      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yes. Vote down the school budgets. Because the kids are totally not worth the investment. [Roll Eyes]

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted May 11, 2011 18:07      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
 -

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted May 12, 2011 01:46      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Education...as in teaching kids? Sure, I'm for that!

What I'm not for is unchecked spending on things that might not be critical.
Such as ~20M for a 'bus wash.' Or ~10M to move the schools around, moving the kindergarteners from a quiet street to a 55MPH road.

(Besides, the vote will always pass.)

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted May 12, 2011 02:00      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well if one were to not vote, said person could always claim "Don't blame me, I did not vote for him/that."

I always vote "because"

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted May 12, 2011 04:01      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
So it doesn't seem owrth it to spend a bunch of money to try to educate the latest crop of dopes to enter teh educational system?

Well, the less dumb you can make them, the safer your retirement checks will be.

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"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

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Aditu
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Icon 1 posted May 12, 2011 05:24      Profile for Aditu     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Love that sign, Druid!!

We have an old fart on our school board, who campaigned against renewing a levy that just keeps the doors open. He makes my blood pressure rise on sight. Ack!

Posts: 1355 | From: Osten Ard | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
Ugh, MightyClub
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Icon 1 posted May 12, 2011 06:36      Profile for Ugh, MightyClub     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I am fortunate to live in a school district with a very fiscally responsible board. We have the lowest per-student cost in the county, but still offer a sound education and more extra-curricular opportunities than many similar-size schools. Unfortunately, being a "high needs" district, about 65% of our budget is funded by state aid and the state closed the wallet this year. They don't give a crap that we're well managed and that almost all of our budget increases are directly tied to costs like retirement and healthcare that NY districts can't legally control. Even so, the proposed budget increase we're about to vote on is < $6,000. With the reduction in state aid that translates to about a 1% tax increase.

DMan, $20M for a bus wash does sound frivolous on the surface, but consider this - the DOT has very strict standards for school buses, including something close to a "zero-rust" policy. Depending on how many buses the district operates, it may be that building a bus wash to keep the salt off them in the winter is more economical than replacing the buses more frequently due to rust problems. A full size bus costs something like $100k.

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Ugh!

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted May 12, 2011 11:43      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It's interesting that Merkins will openly campaign against school funding.

Here in oz, school funding is one of the few 'sacred cows' of politics. Every election, every party promises more funding for schools.

Of course, they're politicians, so they often fail to deliver on their promises, but I've never seen a politician run with a stated policy of school funding cuts.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted May 12, 2011 12:10      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
TFD: At the national level, our government would rather buy bigger guns. At the state and local levels, the excuses are more varied. I for one would rather pay extra tax for better public schools because the extra tax is nothing next to the cost of private school tuition or the lost earnings involved in homeschooling.
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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted May 12, 2011 16:17      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
It's interesting that Merkins will openly campaign against school funding.

Here in oz, school funding is one of the few 'sacred cows' of politics. Every election, every party promises more funding for schools.

Of course, they're politicians, so they often fail to deliver on their promises, but I've never seen a politician run with a stated policy of school funding cuts.

The big question is: Are your schools funded by the central gov't or local municipalities?

My beef is with the fact that in NYC, not far to the south of me, Bloomberg is looking to can >4000 teachers, and we're probably not going to lose a one. I'm perfectly fine with us not losing any teachers, but when more money is sought to add frills (bus washes or new administrative buildings), I get bothered by the disparity and seeming tone-deafness. I'd have absolutely no problem with increased taxes for education that benefited everyone in the state.

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted May 12, 2011 16:33      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
The big question is: Are your schools funded by the central gov't or local municipalities?

Local government here in oz is mostly limited to parks, roads, and rubbish collection. No schools, no police force, no County Hospitals.

Government schools are run by the states, with a weird mix of state and federal funding that no-one seems to understand.

The obvious problem with local government running schools is that the poorer neighborhoods will have crap schools, thus perpetuating existing disadvantage. Strangely, many merkins seem to think this is A Good Thing.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted May 13, 2011 01:28      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The Famous Druid wrote:
The obvious problem with local government running schools is that the poorer neighborhoods will have crap schools, thus perpetuating existing disadvantage. Strangely, many merkins seem to think this is A Good Thing.

That's not exactly true.

The actual problem is that many Americans are selfish and greedy. They don't think poor kids shouldn't have crappy schools, but they want to be sure that they aren't the ones to pay for it. Unfortunately, almost everyone with money feels the same way, thus we wind up with nobody wanting to pay for anyone else.

In other words, much of America is selfish and greedy and would rather take from society and not contribute. Of course, they tend to refer to this as "capitalism" and "supporting the free market" because it sounds less vile.

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted May 13, 2011 04:27      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Dman: one of the selling points for your area might be its school district. Given the way funding for public education in the US is structured, why should your local district care what they look like when compared with NYC? It's not as if they could get away with donating their money to NYC, even if they wanted to (seriously, I'd pitch a fit if someone was raising a local levy on me to fund another city's schools).

I grew up one mile north of the Seattle city limits. The reason my parents picked that suburb was because it was within the commute radius my mom was limited to (she has to be able to reach her hospital within 20 minutes) and the schools were good. Some parts of that suburb are fantastically affluent. Others are pretty damn shitty. But there was enough of a mix, and enough pride in the quality of the district, that people just voted in the bond issues and the levies without thinking about it. We did have one fiscal "crisis" because of a completely incompetent superintendent who couldn't read a balance sheet. I'm serious - the crisis was completely in her head and she subsequently got the boot for being a total moron. During her tenure the entire district also managed to run out of Kleenex and, one another memorable occasion, paper for printers. There may have been other weird shortages, but those two I remember because it's the kind of thing that impacts you when you're a student. That stopped happening after she was replaced.

In fact, we even incorporated into our own city while I was still in high school because Seattle was making some rather unsettling noise about expanding its city limits, thus imperiling our happy little school district.

BTW, my district had a shiny administrative facility that they converted from a decommissioned high school. It wasn't just offices; it was also a sort of district event center. Things like the science fair and History Day were held there, as well as the occasional performance. There was also a tech center and a spiffy wet lab. The swimming pool used by both high schools for practices and meets was there, as was the football stadium. Basically, it was stuff that the teachers and the district might want to expose kids to but couldn't afford to have every school outfitted with.

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted May 13, 2011 06:25      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Dman: one of the selling points for your area might be its school district. Given the way funding for public education in the US is structured, why should your local district care what they look like when compared with NYC? It's not as if they could get away with donating their money to NYC, even if they wanted to (seriously, I'd pitch a fit if someone was raising a local levy on me to fund another city's schools).
Oh, you're not wrong when you consider how the _system_ is structured. I just don't particularly like how it's structured. It offers fantastically better advantages to those who can afford to live in this neck of the woods than one that's less than an hour's drive away. (I'm probably way belong the median income.)

However, as to why a 'local' should care about NYC schools...I would point out that many of the folks around these parts make their money working on Wall Street. So...they make millions working in Manh., and then use that $$$ to buy a big house with 'great schools' and the place that got them there gets comparatively worse schools. I get a bit of a "don't ___ where you eat" vibe from that.

BTW, TFD, if you want something that'll really blow your mind....it's the inverse of what you were amazed by. In NYC, Bloomberg & Co. are trying to shut down _horrible_ schools and replace them with good schools. Many of the parents in those areas are fighting tooth & nail to keep those schools. Yay. (Kind of like rabid Tea Partiers saying "Don't take away our Medicare!")

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted May 13, 2011 12:59      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
BTW, TFD, if you want something that'll really blow your mind....it's the inverse of what you were amazed by. In NYC, Bloomberg & Co. are trying to shut down _horrible_ schools and replace them with good schools.

Yeah, sometimes you've got to do that to break a cycle.

Happened to a school here a few years ago, it had developed such a self-destructive culture that they closed the school, left it idle for a few years, then made a fresh start with a "new school" in the old buildings.

Still - the cynic in me suspects that New York's "we're closing the bad schools" is just a NewSpeak for "we're broke, make the poor neighborhoods bear the burden".

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted May 13, 2011 16:18      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:

Still - the cynic in me suspects that New York's "we're closing the bad schools" is just a NewSpeak for "we're broke, make the poor neighborhoods bear the burden".

This just in...a few of them are getting a reprieve, but also new oversight:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/13/nyregion/9-low-scoring-new-york-high-schools-to-stay-open.html

(Please note, even the URL highlights that these are below-average schools.)

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted May 14, 2011 09:52      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
Also, I suspect it must be common elsewhere, but it annoys the heck out of me when some of the votes are 'vote for 4 $FOO legislators' and there are 5 candidates.

I can go one 'better' than that.

Two candidates, two positions up for election, each candidate only needed one vote to be elected, and this woman got ZERO votes. She didn't even vote for herself.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted May 14, 2011 11:14      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well the election board caught up with us, both the Mrs and myself got our jury summons. Last fall we voted in the governors election.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5836 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged


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